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Conference explores neighbourhood 'accident hotspots' and how to make them safer for our children

29 November 2006

Young children living in some neighbourhoods of Bristol are 3 times more likely to have an accident in the home than those living in 'safer' areas of the city.

Young children living in some neighbourhoods of Bristol are 3 times more likely to have an accident in the home than those living in 'safer' areas of the city. At a special seminar in the city today, healthcare professionals will be looking at the causes of accidents in the home and investigating ways of improving the situation in future.

The findings of this latest 'accident research' are due to be revealed this afternoon at the 'Neighbourhoods and Accidents Conference'. This brings together a team of researchers from the University of Bristol and the University of East Anglia who will be meeting with local healthcare professionals and public health experts to get feedback on the results.

The researchers, who will be reporting on this major new study of accidents in young children in different neighbourhoods in and around the Bristol area, used information from the Children of the 90s study (also known as ALSPAC).

Together the university teams looked at reported accidents requiring medical attention in children under the age of 5 and were able to identify 10 neighbourhood 'accident hotspots' around the city. Families living in the 10 'accident hotspot' areas reported 20 accidents needing medical attention per 100 children per year. This compared to a much-reduced rate of between 6 and 8 accidents per 100 children per year in the ten neighbourhoods with the lowest rates.

Today’s conference at Bristol’s Create Centre will discuss why accident rates in children vary widely between different neighbourhoods and - most importantly - will investigate what can be done to prevent injuries in future. Clinicians and public health experts from across the city have been invited to give their views and advice.

Professor Alan Emond from the University of Bristol says, "This an excellent example of how academic research collected by Children of the 90s has been linked with information from other sources to produce accessible outputs which are both meaningful to local people and useful to prevent accidents in the future”

Dr Richard Reading, from the University of East Anglia, adds, "We don’t yet understand why there is such a wide variation between different neighbourhoods. Poverty, housing type and neighbourhood quality may have some part in the explanation but do not explain it all. We are looking into this in more detail, but are presenting these preliminary findings to get some local feedback about possible reasons.”

Today's conference will also be followed by a week-long Poster Exhibition at the Create Centre where interested members of the public will be invited to feedback their ideas to the research team.


Notes for editors

1. The conference, on 29th November opens at 3.30pm, at the Create Centre in Hotwells, Bristol. Members of the Press are welcome to attend. Additionally, Professor Emond will be available for interviews at the Create Centre, at Smeaton Road, Cumberland Basin, BS1 6XN from 2pm. He can also be contacted on his office number on Wednesday morning.

2. Following this afternoon's conference, the posters which highlight the latest accident research, will be on display in the foyer of the Create Centre for a week and available for members of the public to see.

3. The Neighbourhoods and Accidents study was funded by the Department of Health.

4. The research team included geographers and medical researchers from ALSPAC,

the School of Environmental Science and the School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice at the University of East Anglia, the Centre for Child and Adolescent Health at the University of Bristol and the South West Regional Public Health Observatory.

5. ALSPAC stands for the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. It recruited 14,000 mothers expecting a baby between 1991 and 1992, and has followed up the children and families ever since.

6. The ten neighbourhoods with the highest rates of accidents to young children were: Sea Mills, Eastville, St Anne's (Brislington), Monks Park, Fishponds, Trym (part of Southmead), and Mayfield Park within Bristol, and outside Bristol, North and West Clevedon, and Uphill in Weston-super-Mare.

7. The ten neighbourhoods with the lowest rates were: Knowle East, Harbourside, Bedminster Down, White Cross (part of Stockwood), Oldbury Court, Canford, and Sneyd Park within Bristol, and outside Bristol, Frampton Cotterell, Thornbury North.


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